Three Regional Incubators Receive U.S Department of Commerce EDA SPRINT Challenge Grants

April 12th, 2021

Congratulations to SeaAhead, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), and Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) as recipients of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration's SPRINT Challenge awards. The Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge builds on EDA’s efforts to work with communities to build strong regional economies, according to Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Our grantees’ projects are laser-focused on using innovation to help America overcome the economic, health and safety challenges brought on by the pandemic.” A total of forty-four awardees were selected from a pool of 238 applicants.

MBI BOLT is a two-tiered program to pair gifted entrepreneurs with the seasoned executives who can help advance products to patients. Phase I is an Entrepreneur in Residence program to help early-stage entrepreneurs chart a linear path to proof of concept. Phase II creates “bolt on” executive teams that will roll up their sleeves, tap their networks, and tactically support the company to fundable milestones on the way to market. MBI is not limiting this program to its incubated companies. In order to support more commercialization from ten colleges and universities, as well as to promote regional entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneur in Residence and BOLT initiatives will be open to entrepreneurs from throughout the region.

Gulf of Maine Blue Innovation Recovery The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), in partnership with SeaAhead, a Boston-based bluetech startup platform, will lead a blue innovation recovery initiative to provide direct support to regional seafood-related startups and small businesses that face significant operational challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will assist seafood-related startups and small business scale-ups by enabling the Project Team to 1) scale entrepreneurship support models through a digital platform and simplified access to physical assets; 2) deepen and enrich digital mentorship models and connect startups to key mentors; 3) increase and enhance access to investment capital. The end result is an enhanced economic corridor in northern New England that will allow the region to be more resilient to the next economic shock.

Innovative Medical Products - Action, Commercialization, Technology (IMPACT) M2D2's (a member of the BARDA DRIVe Incubator Network) IMPACT project will focus on the urgent need to develop health security and biomedical technologies that provide rapid feedback to both caregivers and patients in order to effect timely changes in patient self-care, symptom detection, diagnosis, and treatment delivery. It will accelerate new evidence-based, user-friendly, patient-centric technologies to detect threats pre-symptomatically, to monitor health/medical status in people as they go about their daily lives out of the clinic, to respond quickly as needed, and to deliver actionable reports. The project is intended to benefit Greater Lowell, as well as the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.